I thought it might be worth updating on some of what’s been going on in the winter season so far. It’s mostly from RAK, as the sport climbing tribe have been (admirably) focused on repeating routes recently.
In Wadi Shahah, the Gregory quarrying/ climbing machine continues to operate productively. A new cliff, Farside, has been opened opposite Nearside, with several routes. Descriptions here. Andy LaBonte has climbed a hard new partially-bolted route (Crack Rock Steady, F7b + E3 at the start) at Nearside. I have no other details but I am fairly sure it is just right of Tim’s Tipple.
Elsewhere in the wadi I also have update details for Yellow House, including new star ratings and descent details and one new route. Apparently consensus is that the rock quality is unusually good. The Far Right area at Dickinadozer is now known as the Zombie Skull sector. Some additional anchors and tidying-up has taken place – I am not sure of the precise details.
In Wadi Ghalilah, adherents of the noble art of chossaneering have been busy. Ben Ranson (*) has climbed the giant 1000m (!) Ghalilah Headwall right of Stairway to Heaven in two stages. The topo is here. As mentioned late last year, Aiden Laffey added Wadi Roulette near the Shady Circus area. More recently he and Andy LaBonte repeated the 600m Barun Wall route (original description here), probably by a slightly different line to the original ascent. Looks bold, committing and – no surprise – loose.
Mid-summer 2010 Gordon Rech and friends started work on a new sector, The Narrows, a long way up Wadi Khab Shamis. There are four sport routes from F5 to F6b so far.
As previously noted, Aiden and I climbed The Pyramid.
There’s also some new stuff at Hatta Crag. Sadly I don’t have details at the moment, though I know they include a F7a eliminate through Spiderpig, another F7a on the back side of the same buttress and two lines left of Tadaima.
Solomon Lau passed me details of two new problems at Wonderwall. In other news, Gordon Rech made the probable second ascent of Ninja Smartypants on the Monkey Bars block.
If anyone knows of anything else, please let me know.
* whoops, I mean Peter Thompson